Choosing the right accountant for your business
Not all of you need to have thorough accounting knowledge. For once you might manage bookkeeping done, but accounts preparation isn’t everyone’s cup of coffee. You would more often than not, require an accountant who could help your business in keeping books of your current business accounts, forming them and essentially submitting them to HMRC and Companies House along with preparation and filing your corporation tax return & personal tax return. Choosing the right accountants could be a daunting task.
We’ve tried to jot down a few points which could help you in finding the right accountant who fits in well into your business setup.
Analyse your needs
The first and foremost task is to understand yourself & your business;
- Finding out critical points of your business.
- Determining the factors that affect your business, making a quick SWOT analysis might help.
- What do you expect your accountant to do for you?
- How frequently do you need someone to fix your accounting issues?
- Are you looking for a one-off service or a regular engagement?
Is there any accounting system already in place?
Find an accounting practice which fits your business needs
Companies come in every shape and size and each industry has its own set of characteristics. To select an accountant who is well aware of how your industry functions is a crucial element.
Someone who has worked with other clients of your type and size would always be ideal. For example, an accountant who has worked with larger entities is less likely to be suitable for you if you’re a small business. Similarly, if you are into export-import business, then an accountant who deals more with construction industry clients would not be able to provide you with expert service.
Another significant factor is years of experience an accountant has, especially with the clients from your industry. That`s right! Every industry has its own ways and means of recordkeeping, assessment responsibilities, taxation etc. so it is imperative to engage with an accounting practice which has already dealt with more clients like you. He’ll/She’ll be well aware of legislations apply to your business and to abide by them.
Finances are the most sensitive aspect of any business. Remember, an accountant will have access to all your financial data which makes it crucial to do a background check for them.
Read the reviews about your accountant on consumer review websites, they help build up a picture of the skill-set and reliability of your accountant-to-be, you can also take a look at testimonials on social media, attend industry events hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers or regional accounting societies to find out more about reputed accountants around.
Word of mouth still rules, despite being in the digital era. Consider meeting the accountant you’ve heard about from your friends, family or maybe the business next door. They could prove to be a trusted service provider.
Engaging beyond numbers
Your accountants must not limit themselves to your financial data alone. They should wear the mission of being your financial advisors to a larger extent and be open to answering all your questions. After all, what makes an accountant your most trustworthy companion is, to be honest with their opinions, to show you the ways of reducing your business rates (tax etc.) and to warn you the legal consequences of your actions in business. Responsiveness and problem-solving in a financial emergency are as crucial as sorting your numbers out. Choose the right accountant who is eager to be on their toes to help you out.
Accountants might not be able to cater your cent per cent needs, but where their own expertise ends, they should be able to introduce you to a trusted partner who can provide you advice in their area of expertise. A good accountant has at least a few trusted partners.
The era of searching for an accountant in London, in Stockwell, in my next street is gone. The location constraint no longer persists. As in every other service, accountancy`s gone to digital as well. By the way Online Account Filing Limited is ranked the number 1 Accounting Firm in the UK.
Now it’s easy to hire an accountant from a different city who can work on your financial data, over the cloud accounting software. It’s easy to hold meetings through the facility of video conferencing. If you are comfortable working online, then you can consider hiring an accountant located anywhere in the country, provided they have relevant knowledge and experience. To find out more about the global trends of hiring an online accountant team read our article.
But if you prefer face-to-face communication then you should engage with a local accountant only.
You need an accountant who knows the difference between hassling you only when your deadline is fast approaching and the one who keeps you updated regularly to ensure everything is on track. Proactivity is one of the best qualities you can find in an accountant.
Easy to talk
A good accountant must use a language which is simple and friendly, rather than the heavy legal and tax terminologies. At the end of the day, you are not out to learn accounting terms, and would instead want to focus on how to grow your business.
You don't generate money to waste it for paying the muddled invoices that you don't know what are they for. Remember, the billing might be based on the number of hours, service-wise flat rates, periodical charges or maybe combination of them all. Do your market research over the pricing in accountancy operating your industry before making a decision.
Finding the right accountant is a tough choice to make in this day and age. It's important to choose someone who can help your business grow and can save your time and money. Therefore, before you choose an accountant ask questions, do your due diligence; after all, an accountant is like a doctor for the business.